Dan Jurgens Reveals Alternate Look for "Electric Superman"

Dan Jurgens, one of the most prolific Superman writers and artists of the last 35 years, took to social media today to share a look at his proposed costume for 1997's "Superman Transformed" storyline, in which the Man of Steel got a radical new look and powers. Ultimately, DC went with then-new Superman artist Ron Frenz's proposal, the (in)famous "Electric Blue" Superman look, but at the time, DC was taking ideas from numerous creators tied to the four ongoing Superman books (Jurgens was then writing the Frenz-drawn Superman). Some of the sketches have made the rounds before, but if Jurgens's have been made public, this is definitely the highest-quality, highest-resolution version we've ever encountered.

While it didn't have the longevity (or even the sales at the time) of something like the Death and Return of Superman story from five years earlier, the "Superman Transformed" storyline is one that fans of the "Triangle Era" Superman books still talk about -- sometimes with fondness, and sometimes as a cautionary tale -- to this day. 

"We were always looking for big stories to do with Superman and those usually involved the idea of changing up the status quo in some way," Jurgens told ComicBook.com. "We had discussed the general idea of a costume change even back when we brought him back from the dead, of course. That was part of the inspiration for the all black costume. So we kind of revived some of that here and also went with a change in powers, which we'd also talked about previously."

You can see the image below.

dan-jurgens-electric-superman.jpg

According to colorist Glenn Whitmore and Superman: The Man of Steel artist Jon Bogdanove, the idea of splitting Superman up into red and blue doppelgangers, which happened in the second half of the "Transformed" storyline, was one that Whitmore suggested, riffing on the Silver Age "Superman Red/Superman Blue" story.  

The power change came on after Superman briefly lost his powers during the Final Night event, and then had a strange power surge after getting them back. The in-story explanation was that he changed from being a carbon-based life form to an energy based one. He later returned to normal after an encounter with ancient, subterranean goliaths known as the Millennium Giants.

Jurgens, who has famously said he never goes to a convention where he doesn't get at least a handful of "The Death of Superman" issues to sign, told ComicBook.com in 2017, "Over the last few years, I've seen revived interest in 'Superman Transformed,' just as I have with the Ben Reilly Spider-Man stuff. I get a lot more questions, comments and issues of both to sign these days."